The Physics of Glaciers, 4th Edition

The Physics of Glaciers, 4th Edition,Kurt Cuffey,W. S. B. Paterson,ISBN9780123694614


Academic Press




235 X 191

The essential guide to glaciers for libraries, researchers, and students

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Key Features

-Completely updated and revised, with 30% new material including climate change
-Accessible to students, and an essential guide for researchers
-Authored by preeminent glaciologists


Now in its 4th Edition, this classic text covers the physical principles underlying the behavior of glaciers -- terrestrial ice bodies originating as accumulations of snow -- including mountain glaciers, small ice caps, ice sheets, and shelves. New material on climate change includes interactions between ice sheets and the ocean and atmosphere, paleoclimate reconstruction using ice cores, Quaternary climate history and the ice ages, and sea level rise. The book also explores topics of interest to geologists and geophysicists, including glacial connections to geomorphology, sedimentation, isostasy, and tectonics.


Graduate students and academic and professional researchers in the fields of glaciology, climatology, geophysics and geology.

Kurt Cuffey

Affiliations and Expertise

Dept of Earth & Planetary Science/Dept of Geography, University of California, Berkeley, USA

W. S. B. Paterson

Affiliations and Expertise

Emeritus, University of Copenhagen, Australian Antarctic Division, and Canadian Polar Continental Shelf Project

The Physics of Glaciers, 4th Edition

1.Introduction 2. Transformation of Snow to Ice 3. Grain-Scale Structures and Deformation of Ice 4. Mass Balance Processes: Overview and Regimes 5. Mass Balance Processes: Surface Ablation and Energy Budget; 6. Glacial Hydrology; 7. Basal Slip; 8. The Flow of Ice Masses; 9. Temperatures in Ice Masses; 10. Large-Scale Structures; 11. Reaction of Glaciers to Environmental Changes; 12. Glacier Surges; 13. Ice Sheets and the Earth System; 14. Ice, Sea Level, and Contemporary Climate Change; 15. Ice Core Studies.

Quotes and reviews

"In the preface to the first edition of The Physics of Glaciers, published in 1969, Stan Paterson made note of the impressive observational and theoretical advances that had taken place during the preceding two decades and set the stage for his efforts to summarize the state of the field. The pace of data collection has continued to accelerate with the development of an impressive array of new tools and techniques and the added incentive of current concerns over the response and role of glaciers and ice sheets in a warming climate. Now we arrive at the fourth edition, a collaborative effort by Paterson and Kurt Cuffey to provide an updated assessment of glacier physics and related topics. The result is a major achievement, involving a comprehensive rewriting and reorganization of the material contained in earlier editions, and including a significant amount of new material that will be appreciated by both old and new audiences."--Pure and Applied Geophysics
"The interested reader will find much else to enjoy in this book. For example, by using square brackets for grouping, and curved parentheses for arguments of functions, the equations are easier to read than typical. The appendix on stress and strain will be a favorite of students in classes extending far beyond glaciology. In short, The Physics of Glaciers by Cuffey and Paterson is at once instructive and authoritative, a textbook and a reference source. It is a towering intellectual achievement that, quite simply, defines the science of glaciers. Modern students may not be as easily impressed as I was three decades ago, but I expect that in addition to bragging about talking to ‘the W.S.B. Paterson’, students will be celebrating meeting ‘the K.M. Cuffey’ for a long time to come."--Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 57, No. 202, 2011, page 383

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